From weight loss to health, there are many reasons why you may be trying to fast or especially if you are fasting. Use this science-based guide to get the inside scoop on IF specifically. If you decide to get started, you’ll also find tips on how to prepare for success.
Intermittent fasting is a way of cycling between fasting and eating. Intermittent fasting has recently become popular because it has many benefits such as helping to control weight, stabilize blood sugar, and improve metabolism. Although it has become increasingly popular, it is still a controversial method and is not recommended for people with eating disorders, who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting, which involves stopping or reducing eating completely for a period of time, is quite popular among current dieters. There are three main types of current mainstream fasting: one is a daily restricted diet, that is, the daily eating time is shortened to 6-8 hours, but the total amount of food intake does not have to be reduced; another is 5:2 light fasting, that is, 5 days in a week of normal eating, 2 days to eat only 500 calories (equivalent to 1/4 of the normal calories a day); the third is alternate day fasting, that is, one day of normal eating and one day of restricted eating (500 calories).
How intermittent fasting works
You can choose how you want to do this by deciding which days of the week you want to fast. On fasting days, you may follow a strict calorie-restricted diet, or you may not eat at all. You may also fast for a period of time each day. Ultimately, this will result in fewer calories being consumed during the week.
Intermittent fasting program
There are many methods of intermittent fasting, which we will discuss in more detail.
This is a term used to describe various fasting styles that divide the day into a fixed fasting time and a fixed eating time. The fasting period can be as short as 12 hours, followed by 12 hours of eating (12:12), and up to 23:1. There are many methods of intermittent fasting. Each method has its advantages, but finding the most effective method depends on finding the one that works best for you and your goals.
16 Hour Fasting
We like the intermittent fasting plan paired with the keto diet, and many people find this 16:8 model easy to achieve. This can be accomplished by fasting for 16 hours a day while eating for 8 hours – most often 16 hours between dinner and the next meal. For example, if you were to finish dinner at 7 p.m. on Monday, you would not eat your next meal until 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Of the many types of fasting, the alternate-day fast is probably the most scientifically based. Typically, this approach involves eating normally one day and then severely restricting calories on the second day – usually 500 calories per day. This pattern is repeated every other day: one day of normal eating and one day of restricted caloric intake.
Another alternative to fasting is to eat normally five days a week and limit calories to 500 calories a day on the remaining two days of the week. Usually this 500-calorie intake is not required.
One meal a day
Other names for this method are the 20:4 or “warrior diet”. The one-meal-a-day intermittent fast is based on the concept of fasting for 20 hours a day and consuming all calories in four hours. It draws inspiration from historical documents that suggest that the ancient Spartans and Romans ate only one meal a day.
As people become more familiar with intermittent fasting, they may begin to experiment with fasts of 24 hours or more. We usually discourage this approach simply because we believe that low-carb is a beneficial way to eat that provides complete nutrition and does not require you to fast for days on end.
The weight loss effects of intermittent fasting
With IF, you simply eat during fewer periods of time, whether it’s fewer hours of the day or fewer days of eating. In our study, we found that time-restricted eating naturally reduced calories by hundreds of calories per day.
Intermittent fasting, especially alternate-day fasting, is beneficial in helping overweight or obese adults reduce their body mass index (BMI), a measure of body weight that is superior to a regular diet. After intermittent fasting, weight loss is twice as fast as it would otherwise be. Many people find alternate day fasting more difficult to maintain and adapt to real-life scenarios than restrictive eating. 30 to 40 percent of people drop out of alternate day fasting studies. In contrast, the dropout rate for time-restricted eating was only 5%.
If you want to try intermittent fasting on a low-carb diet, try fasting from 6 to 7 p.m. Morning exercises in a fasted state can also help you get into the fat-burning zone – whenever you feel up to it. Just remember that consuming too few calories over time has the potential to slow down your metabolism, which can prevent you from achieving your weight loss and fat loss goals.
Although intermittent fasting is becoming more popular, it remains a controversial method and is not recommended for people suffering from eating disorders or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. As with starting any new diet or exercise habit, consult a medical professional or healthcare provider to determine if intermittent fasting is right for you.